Sunday, April 15, 2012

New Adventures for Gulliver on His Travels from Maharishi School Students

Students at Maharishi School taking the British Literature course were assigned to write a "new adventure" for Gulliver's Travels

The three main criteria for the new adventure were as follows:
  • Story structure: beginning, middle, end (either as a story or synopsis); some conflict likely to fit the Age of Reason
  • Changing society: indication of weakness or imbalance in society; a solution is advanced
  • Proofreading: margin suggestions on D1 corrected on D2; correct submission format
Here are some examples.

New Island
--by Raphael G.

Before Gulliver finally journeys home, he lands upon one final island. This island is inhabited by two battling and contradictory races, separated by one giant river running through the island.

The first of the two races that he meets is one called the Arthantians. These Arthantians are a race that believe in deities for everything. This first astonishes Gulliver because he is used to a monotheistic society, but later he accepts the fact that they are entitled to their own opinion and that to them this seemingly outdated belief makes sense in its own context. He also starts to witness the Arthantians are very fat and slow because they are always waiting for things to happen, because they believe that there are greater beings watching over them and doing all the work for them. This leads to many of the Arthantians to become hungry and start to get weak because of a lack of them performing actions for themselves.

After spending some time with this new race, he later comes across another race when he is sent down to the central river to go fishing. This race captures him, and takes him as a captive thinking that he is a member of the Arthantians. This race that captures him is called the Platonites, and they are a race that believes solely on what can be proven through science and mathematics, and that all else is waiting to be proven or does not exist. These Platonites are the practically the opposite in appearance from the Arthantians in that they are very skinny and small and always moving. They are constantly building and creating things and are hardly getting sleep because of a ingrained need to discover new things.

This conflict in beliefs between the Arthantians and Platonites causes an ongoing battle. When Gulliver stays with the Platonites, he realizes that throughout the entire time of their existence the Arthantians have been trying to convert the Platonites, while at the same time then Platonites have been trying to destroy the Arthantians because they believe them to be less intelligent and inferior. In the end the Arthantians and the Platonites begin to fight across the central river and start to destroy each other’s villages.

Gulliver finally steps in after having spent time with both races and has a rather un-biased opinion, seeing as he personally does not subscribe to either of the two races beliefs. He gets them to stop fighting and put aside their differences after he explains that although the Arthantians and Platonites believe in different theories of existance, that this should not be a reason for violence and that they all have their own opinions and unless it causes harm, they are entitled to those beliefs.

The Island of Ness
--by Avi M.

Through this island, Gulliver learns an important lesson about society. Civilization can not be so obsessed with ideas or the past, that they fail to put their resources into simply moving their society along the way it is. This is shown through the idea of the “Skelts” who could be working as farmers or other productive members of society, but instead are forced by the government to hunt through the ruins of the past with little or no useful purpose. Another lesson Gulliver learns through this island is how being obsessed with ideas or the past can lead to a society centered around fear resulting from the suffering in the society as a whole. This idea is shown through the religion of this society which is based around an “evil” god who hates them.

Before Gulliver finally journeys home, he lands upon one final island. This island contains the remains of a lost utopian society and the race known as the “Ness.” When he first washes up on the shores of the destroyed island, he is brought by the ness to the king’s palace and is treated like a god upon awakening. In fact, everyone is treats him like a god. The king of the “Ness” introduces himself to him by actually bowing before him.

        Gulliver learns of the peoples past and discovers that the people believe he is someone from the “before times” who will help them unlock the secret to rebuild the perfect society. He also learns of their religion, in which they believe in an all powerful evil god, Bael,  who caused the downfall of the previous society. While he was touring their capital city, built on the remains of the largest city in the “before times,” he witnessed the hundreds of thousands starving and disease-ridden “Skelts,” who work for the government hunting through the dangerous remains of old buildings from this island's past. The Skelts supposedly work to try to discover technology and the secrets that helped make the past society so great; however, they have barely found anything.

        Gulliver suggests to the king that they put their efforts and resources more towards looking forwards for their future, instead of dwelling on the past. The king, in a fit of hysteria, declares that he must be a servant of Bael, sent to try to keep them from discovering the secrets of the great past and imprisons him in a dungeon. Gulliver breaks through the bars of the jail in the middle of the night and sneaks his way to the gates of the town. He is discovered by some of the king’s guards who chase him to the beach where he swims out to a small island. The next night he sneaks back and steals a small boat, and with no choice but to leave, sets off for home.

The Garrus
--by Bryan P.

The Garrus are a race of blue individuals who spend their entire lives to support a single individual from their population. Unbeknownst to them, the individual is not in any way superior to anyone else, but because of tradition they think not to change their ways. Because of this everyone lives in poverty and without the basics to life.

To have an enlightened society the entire population must all be on the same level of existence. Gulliver is thrust into this new environment which symbolizes the world from which he came from a far more gross perspective.

Gulliver lands on a continent called Aria. On Aria he is met by a race of humanoid blue people who call themselves the Garrus. The Garrus then take Gulliver to their leader, who is lavishly treated with riches and material things which distinctly contrast with the state of their population, who lives in slums and in poverty.

As Gulliver explores this society, he finds that the individuals live under the the impression that they live in a fully utopian society. He discovers the fact that their entire ideology is based off of pleasing a single individual who is chosen by an extremely arbitrary system of behavioral observation and thus self-depriving the rest of the population from common luxuries. After talking to The Arterian, Gulliver realizes that there is not actually anything different between him and the rest of his people, but they were too stuck in their traditional ideology to make any changes.

Gulliver decides not to get involved in the socio-political issues of the nation after failing to convince anyone that they have the power and option to raise their standard of living, but before he can get away, the system of choosing makes him the next Arterian after the previous one has died after a small aneurysm. Gulliver is forced to take the high ranking position and, after being treated to all the luxuries of the world, finds his morality which makes him teach and thus release the population from their traditions of servitude.

Copyright 2012 by the respective writers, all rights reserved


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